Rootstock for growing new camellias

stuckinthedirt(6b VA (Shenandoah Valley))August 7, 2008

I am interested in trying to grow camellias from seed. I understand that you can get them to bloom sooner if you graft the seedling onto the rootstock of an older plant. Is that correct? I live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virignia (zone 6B). Do I have to use cold hardy varieties as root stock, or will I be ok as long as I plant the graft point below the soil surface? If cold hardiness is not an issue, can I use any variety as rootstock or do I need a special one?

Does anyone have camellia seedlings they would be interested in trading for something on my trade list?

Thanks for the help.

Ed

Here is a link that might be useful: My trade list

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longriver(SF Bay Area)

Stuckinthedirt, You are correct that a seedling plant requires about five years to flower. I have a shortcut by approach grafting a five month-seedling to an understock. It will reduce one to two years to see the first flower.
Camellia breeding takes time. Based on my obervation, open pollination seeds have only fair chance to become superior flower. Try control pollination to avoid wasting your time and resource.
See the pictures for seedling graft.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 11:05PM
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stuckinthedirt(6b VA (Shenandoah Valley))

Longriver,

Thanks for the advice, and the photos. I have some seeds on one plant right now, that were open pollinated. I'll try some controlled pollination this next flower season.

Any preferences for choices of understocks for my region?

Ed

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 11:17PM
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longriver(SF Bay Area)

Ed: The understock should be healthy. It should has no sign of leaf virus. April and May are good time for me to do so. I use what is available, usually my own seedling plant. If I operate an nursery, choosing the understock must be very important.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 12:16AM
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stuckinthedirt(6b VA (Shenandoah Valley))

Longriver,

One more question. It looks like you have the rootstock and seedling both growing in the same pot before you graft them together. How long after you intiate the graft until you cut the seedling from its own roots, and allow it to grow only from the root stock?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 4:50PM
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longriver(SF Bay Area)

In late March or Early April, my seedlings are 5 to 7 inches tall. I select the desired seedling and plant it closely to the trunk of understock. Immediately approach graft is done. I keep the plant in my green house or sheltered area without direct sunlight. I may loosely cover the grafted plant with a poly bag. That is all to it. After two months, keep the grafted plant under right amount of sunlight with proper fertilizer solution.

I never cut the seedling so I know it has my signiture seedling plant.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 11:32PM
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